Varanasi, a center of Hinduism in India, has emerged as a main battleground during the Indian elections, which began on April 7. With over 814 million eligible voters in a country of 1.25 billion, these are the largest elections the world has seen to date. The results, expected May 16, will bring the election of 543 members of the lower house of Parliament — who in turn will determine the country's next prime minister to govern for five years.
According to exit poll results, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win the majority in parliament — which means that controversial candidate Narendra Modi will be the next prime minister. Modi is a rising force with a pro-business platform for economic growth — which many Indians support. However, he was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2002, when communal clashes killed at least 1,000 Muslims. He was tried for his role in the conflict, but was found not guilty.
May 12 was the last day of voting for the elections, and on Friday India's fate will be decided. VICE News headed to Varanasi to speak with voters and workers about their nation's future.